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Call for Letters: Kingdom Events Coordinator

AEthelmearc Gazette - Thu, 2017-01-26 21:42


My term as Æthelmearc Events Coordinator is quickly coming to an end. Therefore, the Kingdom needs you as its next Kingdom Events Coordinator!

The Æ Event Coordinator is responsible for the following:

  • Must be comfortable with basic computer skills and must have fairly thick skin.
  • Must review incoming events for conflicts. Two Kingdom events that occur on the same day must be at least 70 miles apart.
  • Must review all announcements to confirm they are complete. Complete events have 6 required items in the event description box and use the correct terminology, especially regarding registration.
  • Must add in small amounts of HTML code to create appropriate line breaks.
  • Must be comfortable herding cats…in other words, you are required to stay on top of the event submitters/autocrats to make sure that they complete the event announcement properly in time for printing in the Æstel.
  • Work directly with the Kingdom Seneschal to solve any conflicts or problems with these events.

If you are interested, please email a letter of intent to resume.events@aethelmearc.org.

THL Beatrice de Winter
Æ Events Coordinator

Categories: SCA news sites

Birka is a Little Different This Year

East Kingdom Gazette - Thu, 2017-01-26 15:23

Market Day at Birka, in the Barony of Stonemarche,  has a long history. This will be the 28th year of the event, and the 15th year since it moved to the Radisson Hotel and the Center of New Hampshire Expo Center in Manchester. Every four years the event scheduling gets a bit nerve-wracking because of the proximity of the traditional date to the New Hampshire Presidential Primary, and of course the potential for a catastrophic blizzard on the event weekend is always a background fear. It is the end of January in New Hampshire, after all.

This year when the autocrat, Mistress Fia Kareman, and the Seneschal of Stonemarche, Lady Tomyris of Stonemarche, approached the hotel to sign the contract for Birka 2017, the hotel management warned them that plans were afoot to renovate the ballroom, which is the traditional location for Heavy List and Royal Court. Renovations were expected to begin in December, and to continue through March.

This, as might be expected, caused considerable consternation. Mistress Fia and Lady Tomyris kept the news very close while they considered options, because they were concerned that rumors of the problem would run wild, and be difficult to combat, even after the matter was settled and facts could be presented in their place.

They considered a number of options, including whether it might be possible to rent additional space from other nearby buildings. That option proved to be unworkable, as no suitable space was available.

In the end, Mistress Fia went back to the hotel with a list of requests for concessions and options for alternate spaces which might be usable. The hotel management, mindful of their long and positive relationship with the event, made every effort to help Stonemarche find ways to squeeze in as many of the traditional activities as was remotely possible, including reserving for the event’s use parts of the hotel, such as the fireplace lounge area in the lobby, which in most years are considered public spaces, not part of the event space.

Even after a lot of outside-the-box thinking, and efforts to find usable spaces that are not normally rented by the event, there was still substantially less space available. Event staff tried to cut back on everything a little, to avoid completely dropping anyone’s favorite, traditional activity.

Heavy list was moved from the ballroom to the armory. Youth fighting was moved out of the armory into a meeting room, to make room for the heavy list.   Evening Royal Court will be in the armory, as will the Ball. Because acoustics in the armory are so challenging, for the first time the event will be providing a sound system for Court. The Middle Eastern Hafla will be in the public space outside the Hale and Spaulding rooms in the Expo Center, as well as in the adjacent Pierce room, instead of the Armory.

By early May details were settled, the contract was signed, and the changes were made public to the event staff and via various electronic channels. While nothing was perfect, the essential parts of the event were preserved, and it is expected that things will return to their normal locations next year.

However the story doesn’t end there.  Renovations rarely proceed exactly on schedule, as anyone who has been part of one knows. Approximately two weeks ago the hotel informed Mistress Fia that the work of refinishing the armory floor had been completed. This caused great stress to the staff, because Stonemarche knows from painful past experience how badly fighting heavy list can damage a floor. Again, the hotel worked with the event staff, and a fix was found. The hotel is supplying mats to protect the floor in the armory.

At the final pre-event planning meeting, held at the hotel on the 15th, it was noted that there seemed to be no access route to get from the hotel proper to the armory. This was seen as a significant issue, since it is January in New Hampshire, and weather could be anything. It was felt that event attendees should not have to go outside to get to the armory. Mistress Fia again went back to the hotel to seek a remedy. This time the proposed solution involved going through the Curriers room, which in past years has been the Royal Room. That presented its own challenges, as there were activities scheduled there, and now a home needed to be found for them.

The hotel offered the use of a suite in the attached office tower, which is space entirely new to the event. Youth fighting, Baronial Court, the Fashion Show, and the Bardic Circle will be held in that space. As this change was instituted after the site books had gone to the printer, there is an addendum to the site book and signs will be posted to help attendees find the new space.

The event staff hopes everyone will enjoy the event in spite of the challenges occasioned by the construction.

Filed under: Events Tagged: birka

3,500-year-old jewelry workshop illuminates dark age

History Blog - Thu, 2017-01-26 00:56

Archaeologists have discovered a 3,500-year-old jewelry workshop on the island of Failaka off the coast of Kuwait. Failaka was one of the major hubs of the Bronze Age Dilmun civilization, which at its peak is believed to have covered parts of modern-day Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and coastal Saudi Arabia. From around 2000 B.C., Dilmun held the monopoly on trade in the Persian Gulf. Failaka’s position at the entrance to Kuwait Bay gave it outsized strategic significance.

Dilmun’s ascendance wasn’t uninterrupted. Somewhere around the year 1700 B.C., the well-established trade network collapsed. The temples and cities were abandoned and the tombs of the kings looted. The next century is known as a dark age for Dilmun and Failaka because whatever the cause and effects of the collapse, there is little in the archaeological record that might shed light on the period.

The jewelry workshop is therefore something of a grail-shaped beacon. It was discovered in a building dated to the period between 1700 and 1600 B.C. and it contains very important garbage: small fragments of semi-precious stones including carnelian and jasper discarded as waste. Carnelian and jasper and not native to Failaka. These were imports, probably from Indian and Pakistan, which means trade across vast distances was still active during the so-called dark ages.

Kristoffer Damgaard, an assistant professor in the department of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies at the University of Copenhagen, believes that Højlund and his colleagues have made an important discovery.

“I have no doubt that this is an important and historically crucial discovery,” said Damgaard. “These are the raw materials for luxury items for the wealthy that reveals the local elite had the option of long-distance trading in commodities such as precious stones.”

Damgaard said that the find is an “example of how far back globalisation extends”. Højlund believes that the stones show that Kuwait resumed trade during the dark period.

“Kuwait must have re-established the trade routes that collapsed around the year 1700 BC,” he said. “It bears witness to a renaissance in Bahrain and Failaka in around 1600 BC, when it resumed relations eastward to Pakistan and India.”

It’s also relevant to Failaka’s particular archaeological record because Dilmun was known for its circular stamped seals (as opposed to ones that were rolled like the cylinders of Mesopotamia). Dilmunian seals have been unearthed in India, Mesopotamia and in Failaka. A great number of them were found in a square stone building in the Al Hakim Palace and Tower Temple complex. They were of different shapes and sizes — circular, rectangular, square, cylinder scarab-shaped — and bore different inscriptions. The sheer numbers and variety of seals found on Failaka underscore that it was a pivot point of cultural exchange between the civilizations of the Gulf.

Danish archaeologists from the Moesgaard Museum, led by Peter Vilhelm Glob famed as the archaeologist who examined the bog body Tollund Man upon its discovery by peat cutters in 1950, were the first to systematically excavate the Persian Gulf countries in the southern Arabian peninsula beginning in 1953. Glob’s team found the first evidence of the Dilmun civilization in Bahrain and thought it was a local power. When they were invited to excavate Kuwait in 1958, they found Dilmun’s reach extended north as well, that they had colonized Failaka around 2,000 B.C. and used as a political, economic and religious center and headquarters for shipping. This most recent series of excavations on Failaka have been ongoing for nine years.

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

Curia to be Held at Birka

East Kingdom Gazette - Wed, 2017-01-25 22:53

East Kingdom Curia will be held 10:00 am on January 29, 2017 at the Market Day at Birka, in the Barony of Stonemarche (Manchester, NH).

New business to be discussed includes changes to kingdom event bid deadlines; champion tourneys; Earl Marshal/Kingdom Marshal of Armored Combat; official email; establishing a new award (Silver Mantle); various clerical corrections; and a discussion of a potential East Kingdom 50-Year celebratory event.

The  complete agenda for the day can be found at http://seneschal.eastkingdom.org/docs/EKCuria20170129agenda.pdf.




Filed under: Announcements Tagged: curia

An Interview with the New Earl Marshal

AEthelmearc Gazette - Wed, 2017-01-25 20:00

The Gazette interviewed William Parris, OD, our new Earl Marshal.


Tell us a little about yourself and your background in the martial disciplines.
I am a second generation member of the Society, and I have spent my whole life amongst the incredibly active inhabitants of my local Barony, the BMDL. I started fencing over ten years ago, and have enjoyed diving fully into not only the fencing community, but the Kingdom as a whole. I was cadeted to Don Christian de Launey and squired to His Grace, Sir Christopher Rawlins. Over the course of several reigns, I was able to witness all the effort necessary in the management of local groups, Kingdoms, and even the Society. I have enjoyed participating in archery, thrown weapons, armored combat, and, of course, fencing. I have entered Queen’s Rapier Championships and Crown Tournaments, hosted martial scholas, and participated in wars, both foreign and domestic. With the introduction of the Order of Defence, I have been looking for ways for the Order to serve in greater capacities, and the newly remodeled position of the Earl Marshal seemed like a perfect chance.

Why were the changes made to the Earl Marshal position?
The Earl Marshal has, traditionally, been the senior Armored Combat marshal. They oversaw the other disciplines through their Kingdom deputies. In an effort to create a more consistent mechanic, the EM will now adopt a more purely administrative role, with each martial discipline, now including Armored Combat, being represented by a kingdom deputy. I will serve as liaison between each of those positions and the Society Earl Marshal, as well as coordinator for the implementation of new policies. Each discipline will be allowed to exercise as much independence as possible, enabling those with the most experience to serve as guides. I will, of course, remain as active as possible in each activity, to better serve as support to those kingdom marshals.

Will the Heavy Weapons Marshal position take on the traditional duties of the Earl Marshal? How will the position be different?
The Armored Combat Marshal will adopt many of the roles that had previously been assigned to the Earl Marshal. This will include revisions of policy, gathering of reports, and serving as a senior marshal for Crown Tournaments.

The Pennsic Marshal position is something new. What specifically will the person be doing?
Pennsic is a constantly evolving culture, and its governance requires great experience and focused attention. As Æthelmearc adopts greater degrees of responsibilities at Pennsic, the Pennsic Marshal will serve as the chief coordinator of our efforts. Development and management of battlefield activities is no easy task, and it will require a deft touch. I have great faith in our Kingdom’s ability to carry a lion’s share of the burden in providing a efficient and safe atmosphere for the citizens of Pennsic.

How much autonomy do the individual chief marshals have in the Kingdom?
While I have participated in many of the martial activities, I recognize a great wealth of experience beyond my own. One of my primary duties will be enabling the Kingdom Marshals to conduct their duties as freely as possible. I have no interest in telling any of them how to perform their tasks, and I feel the Kingdom will benefit from their individual passions for their offices.

What do you think the most positive aspect of this change will be?
This change in the role of the Earl Marshal sets precedent for leaders of any discipline to assume the office. All activities will enjoy full attention and support, along with the opportunity to serve the Kingdom in such a capacity. I am humbled to be a part of the change.

Anything else you’d like to tell our readers?
Accepting the responsibilities of becoming a marshal is a sacrifice, and I am deeply grateful to every marshal in the Kingdom. The great office of the Earl Marshal is made great by the untiring efforts of those willing to run inspections, host tournaments, marshal the lines, and complete the paperwork that allows the Kingdom and Society to continue preserving the magic that has drawn each of us in. I am grateful to the Kingdom Marshals and especially to Her Grace, Tessa and His Grace, Maynard for stepping forward and accepting the challenge of their new roles. If my term as Earl Marshal is to be well regarded, it is upon their shoulders that accolade should fall.

Categories: SCA news sites

Archery Muster, Sunday April 9, A.S. 51

AEthelmearc Gazette - Wed, 2017-01-25 01:36

Attention All Archers!!

The Barony-Marche of the Debatable Lands invites you to a Regional Muster celebrating Archery, Thrown Weapons, Arts & Sciences, and maybe some more at the Castle home of Earl Byron and Countess Ariella on April 9th. This is the day after Ice Dragon. The muster will begin at 10:00 in the morning and continue until 5:00 pm.

The archery and thrown weapons ranges will be open at 10:00 am and archery from the towers, led by THL Deryk Archer, will begin at 1:00 pm.

The main archery goal this day is to shoot and submit rounds for the Gwyntarian Winter Challenge which closes later that week. There will also be training if we have enough marshals. The Barony’s loaner gear will be available.

Please bring something for a pot luck lunch. We’re going to be there all day, so let’s eat. Pop, water, plates, bowls, and utensils will all be provided.

Byron and Ariella have asked that you dress in garb for the day.

The Castle address is 755 Stonegate Drive, Wexford PA 15090.

In service to the Barony-Marche and the Kingdom,

Mestari Urho Waltterinen
crossbow1953 (at) verizon (dot) net

Per valde mustache adveho valde officium

Categories: SCA news sites

Ancient skeleton found with tongue replaced by stone

History Blog - Wed, 2017-01-25 00:40

Archaeologists studying a 3rd-4th century Romano-British skeleton unearthed in 1991 at Stanwick in Northamptonshire’s Nene river valley have discovered a unique feature: his tongue was severed and replaced with a flat, round stone. He was buried facedown, a practice believed to be a deliberate act of disrespect for the dead person, or a means of shunning the deceased to counter a perceived danger to the community. This is the first burial from the late Roman period, facedown or otherwise, discovered with a stone in place of the tongue.

Historic England, then called English Heritage, extensively excavated more than 30 hectares the Stanwick site in advance of gravel extraction from 1984 through 1992. They unearthed evidence of human occupation in the early Iron Age. There was an established settlement on the site by the late Iron Age. That developed into an agricultural village from the late 1st century A.D. to the third. The Romano-British village prospered, with increasingly complex stone buildings replacing the circular timber structures. There was a large villa built in the 4th century A.D. and it remained in use even as the rest of the village were abandoned. Bodies were buried outside the villa walls as late as the 6th century.

The eight years of excavations unearthed more than 11,000 individually documented finds, among them more than 3,500 coins, a large collection of stone sculptures believed to have come from two mausoleums, 2.5 tons of Romano-British pottery, 1,600 samples of organic materials (plant fibers, insects, pollen), 1.4 tons of animal bones, cremation burials, 112 complete or close to complete inhumation burials and eight skulls. Thirty-six of the inhumations and one of the isolated skulls were discovered in a cemetery west of the villa. There was very little material in the graves to date them. Pottery fill used in the burials ranges from the Iron Age to the 3rd-4th century which obviously doesn’t help narrow down dates. Two copper alloy bracelets found in one burial are of a type produced in the 5th century. Archaeologists concluded that the cemetery was likely in use from the 3rd to the 5th century.

It has taken decades for archaeologists to document, study and conserve all of this material, which is why they’ve only gotten to the stone tongue skeleton now. Osteological analysis found evidence of infection which supports the idea that the tongue was cut out since that kind of surgical intervention in our bacteria-infested mouths was almost certain to cause infection. The combination of facedown burial and stone might suggest the deceased was a criminal who was punished with tongue amputation.

Mays said: “There are Germanic law codes which talk about cutting people’s tongues out because they spread malicious accusations against other people. We’re looking into it at the moment, but I don’t know whether there are any Roman laws to that effect. Feedback I’ve had hasn’t indicated that there were … although that is of course still possible. We don’t know much about practices in Roman Britain as opposed to Rome itself.”

Asked how archaeologists know the tongue was amputated, Mays explained: “What gave us this idea is that there are other burials from Roman Britain where missing body parts in the grave are replaced by objects at the appropriate anatomical location. There are only about 10 of these that we’ve so far been able to identify. The great majority are decapitations, where you’ve got a stone or a pot placed where the head should be. We thought that, because of this, perhaps a stone could replace the tongue because it’s in the front part of the mouth where the tongue ought to be.” [...]

He added: “The whole idea of replacing a severed body part with an object is interesting in itself. It could be an attempt to complete an incomplete body. Or it could be an attempt to replace part of a body with something obviously inanimate, like a stone or a pot, to prevent the corpse from being complete.”

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

10 New Youtube Videos for Medieval Lovers

Medievalists.net - Tue, 2017-01-24 00:42
A roundup of ten recent videos on Youtube for those interested in Medieval Studies
Andalusian Stories profiles Francisco Gutiérrez, who reproduces manuscripts and designs new miniatures applying the same techniques and materials used by master illuminators of the Middle Ages. You can also take a look at his website here.

Rowan Taylor, a blacksmith who works on the restoration and conservation of medieval iron wear, has uploaded this video showing how to create a medieval trowel.

Last year Jackson Crawford of the University of California at Berkeley began a series teaching about the Norse language and culture. His videos have been getting a strong number of viewers because of the great content and Crawford's straightforward style.

Richard Scott Nokes takes a look at the Saga of the Volsungs in his latest Professor Awesome video podcast

A pair of interviews with Christian Raffensperger, Associate Professor at Wittenberg University, about his books on medieval Rus.

Recording Archaeology has released dozens of videos in the last few weeks, covering a wide variety of topics related to Middle Ages. Here are three to check out.


And finally, our favourite band Stary Olsa, has released their cover of The Beatles song 'Yesterday'.

Categories: History, SCA news sites

17th c. letters found in Knole House attic

History Blog - Tue, 2017-01-24 00:01

The original Knole House, a stately home in Kent, was a medieval manor house that in 1456 became a palace of the Archbishops of Canterbury who extensively rebuilt and expanded it. It was claimed by Crown during the Reformation; Henry VIII used it as a hunting lodge. In 1603 it was given to Thomas Sackville, 1st Earl of Dorset, Lord High Treasurer and cousin of Anne Boleyn. Sackville began a years-long program of reconstruction and refurbishment to prepare the house for a visit from King James I that never ended up happening, which is a shame because those protective witchmarks scratched into the wooden beams of the king’s rooms during construction in early 1606 went to waste. His descendants followed in his footsteps, doing extensive renovations at the end of the 17th and 18th centuries.

Over time, the family retreated into the nucleus of the house, leaving many of the grand rooms with the fabled Sackville art collection under dust covers. From a historical preservation perspective, this was a salutary choice. Modern systems were never installed in much of the house. In 1946, the Knole House was acquired by the National Trust in an unusual deal which leased most of the living rooms back to the Sackvilles. The formal rooms and the treasures they contain are now open to the visiting public.

Knole House is currently undergoing a $30 million restoration, the National Trust’s largest conservation project ever, that is repairing the timber-frame structure, documenting every single beam and opening spaces that have long been closed to the public. It’s in two of those spaces, attic rooms, that a volunteer and a contractor discovered three 17th century letters. Volunteer Jim Parker found two letters, one dated May 1603, the other October 1633, under the floorboards in the South Barracks attic. Builder Dan Morrison discovered the third, dated February 1622, in some debris in a ceiling void near the Upper King’s Room. It probably fell through the attic floor above.

After centuries in the dirt and rubble of attics, the letters needed immediate conservation. They were photographed to document their original condition and then conservators cleaned the surface using fine brushes, rubber powders and professional archival cleansers. The crumpled up pages were given a nice, relaxing sauna in a sealed humidifying chamber, after which the wrinkles were smoothed out in a paper press.

Though written at different times by different people, all three letters were written on expensive, high quality rag paper. The paper in one of the letters, the one written in 1622, was in particularly poor shape. It tore during the cleaning process and conservators had to repair the gaps with Japanese tissue paper. With a little help from infra-red imaging, most of the letter was deciphered. It’s seems to be a thank you note from some recipients of a charitable donation.

The xviijth of February 1622

[Received] by us the poore prisoners in [ILLEGIBLE] the [ILLEGIBLE]
[from the] right honourable the Earle of Middlesex our worthy [ILLEGIBLE]
[by the hands] of Mr Ayers the some of three Shillings [ILLEGIBLE]
[ILLEGIBLE] for our releefe & succour for which wee give [good]
[ILLEGIBLE] for all our good benefactors.

Richard Roger [ILLEGIBLE]

The 1633 letter is about house administration. The courteous missive asks that some pewter spoons and other domestic goods be transported from a London home to Copt Hall in Essex.

It reads:

Mr Bilby, I pray p[ro]vide to be sent too morrow in ye Cart some Greenfish, The Lights from my Lady Cranfeild[es] Cham[ber] 2 dozen of Pewter spoon[es]: one greate fireshovell for ye nursery; and ye o[t]hers which were sent to be exchanged for some of a better fashion, a new frying pan together with a note of ye prises of such Commoditie for ye rest.

Your loving friend
Robert Draper

Octobre 1633

The Cranfields of Copt Hall had close links to the Sackvilles of Knole House. Frances Cranfield, daughter of Lionel Cranfield, 1st Baron Cranfield and Earl of Middlesex, married Richard Sackville, 5th Earl of Dorset in 1637. Extant archives record that she brought a great many large trunks and pieces of furniture with her. Trunks filled with papers were stashed in the attic. The letters could easily have gotten dislodged during the move and wound up underneath the floorboards.

A lot of the art and furnishings in the Knole collection came from the Copt Hall collection which was moved to Knole in the early 18th century, so this apparently quotidian letter about moving some stuff is a pearl of great price for the National Trust because it sheds light on an important part of Knole House’s history.

Nathalie Cohen, regional archaeologist for the National Trust, said: “It’s extremely rare to uncover letters dating back to the 17th century, let alone those that give us an insight into the management of the households of the wealthy, and the movement of items from one place to another.

“Their good condition makes this a particularly exciting discovery.”

She adds: “At Knole our typical finds relate to the maintenance of the house such as wiring and nails or things visitors have dropped such as cigarette packets and ticket stubs. These letters are significant as artefacts but also for the insights they give us into the correspondence of the early seventeenth century.”

The 1603 letter has not been deciphered yet. All three of the letters are on display in Knole’s Visitor Centre.

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

Important Update to Rules for King’s and Queen’s Bardic Champions Competition

East Kingdom Gazette - Mon, 2017-01-23 23:07
Greetings and good fortune to all who read these words: Their Majesty Brion and Anna and Their Majesties’ Bardic Champions have heard your requests for a longer time limit for performances in the competition.  After carefully considering the schedule and the need to have Their Majesties give sufficient attention to both the Bardic and the A&S Champions, I am pleased to announce that the time for performances is now expanded to *15 minutes* across all three rounds. Depending on the schedule, Their Majesties may increase the time for the third round at their discretion. Mistress Alys Mackyntoich, Queen’s Bard.
Filed under: Events, Official Notices, Tidings Tagged: Bardic, champions, King and Queen's Champions

Their Highnesses Announce Their Warlords

AEthelmearc Gazette - Mon, 2017-01-23 16:29

Unto mighty Æthelmearc do Timothy and Gabrielle, Prince and Princess send greetings.

It seems the armies of the East and the Middle are going to summer in Our fair kingdom again. At the present time, it looks like Ealdormere has chosen to join them.

After consulting with Our outgoing Warlord, Duke Tindal, We have chosen a new Warlord, Baroness Alexandra dei Campagnella, OP. We have every confidence that she is the right person for the job, and We will try and give her all the tools she needs to help defend Our borders.

As Rapier Warlord, We are pleased to announce that Master Don Donnan MacDubhsidhe has agreed to stay on. He served Our kingdom well, and We have no doubt he will continue to excel in that position.

As of now, the mighty kingdom of Atlantia will be fighting at Our side, a partner in this endeavor. We have started to put the call out to Our fellow Heirs across the Known World for Them to join Us, and We will bring that joyous news to you as We receive it.

Any friends you have, please try and have them join Our cause.

As always, We live to serve Æthelmearc ,

Timothy and Gabrielle

P.S. Prince Timothy just spoke with His Highness Konrad, Prince of Northshield. He assured His Highness that His kingdom will be at Our side this summer defending Our lands.

Categories: SCA news sites

IMPORTANT: Registration to Compete for King & Queen Bardic Championship

East Kingdom Gazette - Mon, 2017-01-23 11:23

Greetings and good fortune to all who read these words:

It’s less than a month until K&Q Bardic Champions, and we still have less than 10 people signed up to compete.

Please be aware that, in order to accommodate having K&Q A&S and Bardic Champions on the same day, we NEED to have every Bardic competitor PRE-REGISTER by February 6, 2017. You pre-register by e-mailing me your name and a statement that you wish to complete, to alys.mackyntoich@gmail.com.

Pre-registering for the event is not the same…

Mistress Alys Mackyntoich

Filed under: Announcements, Events, Official Notices Tagged: Bardic, King and Queen's Champions

Office of the Chancellor Minor (Youth Activities) seeking new Youth Clerk

East Kingdom Gazette - Mon, 2017-01-23 08:47

The Office of the Chancellor Minor (Youth Activities) is seeking a new Youth Clerk. This deputy position is described below.

The East Kingdom Youth Clerk helps handle the modern administrative burden of managing the Kingdom’s extensive youth officer background checks. Background checks are required for adults involved with the supervision of a youth activity: Chancellor Minor of an SCA group, youth officer at large, Youth Combat Marshal, Youth Rapier Marshal etc.

The duties of the Youth Clerk are to:
– Serve as the primary contact for all East Kingdom background check submissions, processing, and tracking.
– Maintain the membership rosters for all Kingdom youth programs (Chancellors Minor, Youth Combat and Youth Rapier).

The Youth Clerk does not make warranting, training, or program decisions other than to advise rostered individuals and program coordinators of warrant status. Individual youth programs remain under the full control of the various Kingdom officers entrusted with those programs. The Youth Clerk IS responsible for collecting and storing individual personal information in support of that mission.

The Youth Clerk is a deputy to the Kingdom Chancellor Minor with additional supervision and oversight from the Kingdom Youth Combat and Youth Rapier Marshals.


  • Access to a secure home computer and telephone (landline or cell phone).
    Basic computer and internet literacy.
  • Basic proficiency in the use of e-mail, Google drive, Excel, Google sheets, MS Word.
  • Task and deadline oriented.
  • Able to pass the standard SCA background check to work with youth – Pennsylvania residents must also pass their state’s background check requirements.
  • Familiarity with the offices of Chancellor Minor, Youth Combat and Youth Rapier is a huge plus.

Please contact Mistress Leonete at chancellor-minor@eastkingdom.org if you are interested in the position, or if you would like more information.

Filed under: Announcements, Official Notices, Youth Activities Tagged: officers, Youth

Last coins excavated from huge Jersey Celtic hoard

History Blog - Mon, 2017-01-23 00:52

Excavation of the enormous hoard of Celtic coins discovered by metal detectorists on the Channel Island of Jersey in 2012 is finally complete. Comprised of almost 70,000 coins, multiple gold torcs, glass beads and organic materials including plant fibers, a leather bag and a bag woven with silver and gold thread, the Le Catillon II treasure is the largest Celtic coin hoard ever discovered, six times larger than the runner-up.

When Reg Mead and Richard Miles found the hoard after 30 years of searching the same field because of a story they’d heard from the previous landowners daughter, they only dug down to the surface of the mass of coins before alerting Jersey Heritage so the professionals could take over the excavation. With such a great quantity of coins corroded together, archaeologists dug the entire hoard out of the ground in a single soil block measuring 4.5 x 2.6 feet and weighing three quarters of a ton.

The block was transported to the Jersey Museum where it was painstakingly excavated in the glass-walled laboratory in full public view. The museum’s conservator Neil Mahrer worked with a team of experts and volunteers to document, recover, identify and clean every single speck of archaeological material. For the first two years, they focused on removing and cleaning 2,000 loose coins on the surface of the block. In 2014 excavation of the coin mass began. The overwhelming majority of the coins were found to date to 30-50 B.C. and were made by the Coriosolite tribe of what is now Brittany.

Here’s a timelapse video showing the recovery of objects from the block during just one week, November 21-27, 2015.

Before a coin was removed from the block it was laser scanned so its exact position was recorded, and then once it was removed it was laser scanned on its own. One small subblock of coins was not excavated. Instead, it was snugly plastic wrapped and removed whole so that future conservators armed with new technologies have a clean, original section to study.

The scanning and removal of all the rest of the hoard took a lot of time. Four years after the find and almost three years after the excavation of the soil block began, Neil Mahrer scanned and removed the last ten coins of 70,000. Because the Jersey Museum team is composed of wise and provident people with a care for our nerdly needs, they had it filmed.

Neil Mahrer, who has led the conservation project from the beginning, said: “This is a significant milestone for the team. It has been painstaking but thoroughly intriguing work, which has delivered some very unexpected and amazing finds along the way.

“There is still plenty to do and I am sure the hoard will continue to surprise us as we clean and record the material.”

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

Is this 1,000-year-old tomb a famous Viking chief’s?

History Blog - Sun, 2017-01-22 00:14

Danish archaeologist Bjarne Henning Nielsen, curator at the Vesthimmerlands Museum in North Jutland, has an entirely speculative but rather nifty idea that a tomb he has been exploring since 2009 may have belonged to the Viking chief Ulv Galiciefarer. A Danish jarl (earl) of high rank with close connections to the royal family, Ulv earned his moniker with a successful series of raids on Galicia, Spain, in the first half of the 11th century. His exploits are recounted in the Knytlinga Saga, an Icelandic saga of the kings of Denmark written around 1250, and his issue would rule Denmark. His granddaughter Boedil was queen consort to King Eric I of Denmark (r. 1095–1103). Their son and heir Canute Lavard was murdered by his cousin in a classic Game of Thrones intrigue. Only days after the assassination, Canute’s son Valdemar was born. He would go on to rule Denmark as Valdemar the Great (r. 1157-1182).

The tomb was discovered near Naesby in Jutland in 1951 during highway construction. An excavation unearthed a broken sword engraved on the blade near the handle. The inscription is worn and hard to read, but may have been INNOMED, meaning “In the name of” or “In His name”. The grave also contained equestrian fittings and a beautiful, rare pair of silver-plated stirrups made in Central Europe. The excavation of the tomb, dubbed the rider’s grave due to the horse-related artifacts, was a rushed affair. The grave was reburied and neglected until the Vesthimmerlands Museum began to re-excavate the site in 2009.

Excavating the grave and the wider site, the museum’s archaeological team discovered a 10 cm fragment of the broken sword found in 1951, plus 24 more graves from the Viking era. The rider’s grave was just the most opulent and prominent of the compound. A small semicircle of stones, the remains of a larger Viking-era rock formation, still marked what had once been a grave mound. The stone circle area is surrounded by dark lines in the soil, traces of long-decayed wood that once bounded the grave. At first Nielsen thought these lines were what was left of a palisade or paddock, like the 10th century death house built over the grave of a Danish noble couple. A survey of the lines revealed that the structure over the rider’s grave would have been more than 100 square meters (1076 square feet). That’s way, way bigger than your usual death house.

Nielsen remembered seeing a similar structure years earlier when he was working on a the grave of a Viking noblewoman outside the city of Randers in eastern Jutland. South of that site, in Horning, another noblewoman’s grave had been found in the early 1960s which had first been a traditional burial mound, only for the mound to be demolished at a later date a wooden church built over the grave. Long after her death and burial, somebody wanted a more elaborate memorial to the deceased constructed on the site.

It suddenly occurred to Bjarne Henning Nielsen like the proverbial eureka in the bathtub that the rider’s grave could have received the same treatment. The mound is gone, only the stone semicircle testifying to its existence. Nielsen thinks the mound was deliberately demolished to make way for a chapel. Death houses were reserved for nobles of very high rank, but architecturally speaking they were fairly rudimentary. A full chapel would indicate an extremely important personage was buried on the spot.

The reason Ulv Galiciefarer popped into Nielsen’s head as a candidate is that the Naesby area is believed to have been part Valdemar the Great’s ancestral heritage, ie, his personal freehold, not Crown property. Contemporary sources note Valdemar donated a large parcel of land in his freehold less than a mile from Naesby to Cistercian monks. He could certainly have ordered the construction of a chapel over the tomb of his famous great-great-grandfather. It would be a display of piety as well as a way to underscore a nationally important figure in his lineage.

“It is private property he inherited from his father’s side, and Galiciefarer is part of the lineage,” said Nielsen.

“There is of course not a note in the grave saying ‘Here lies Ulv’, but the time and place fit and the burial is consistent with that of someone the king would want to honour.”

Nielsen conceded that his theory may be nothing more than a hopeful guess.

“All we can do today is speculate, but someone wanted to honour the great hero who lies there, whose name we unfortunately may never know,” he said.

There’s very little to go on here. The Galiciefarer hypothesis If the grave was the final resting place of a jarl, Ulv or anyone else, it would be the first jarl’s tomb known. Archaeologists haven’t had a template of a jarl’s tomb to use for identification, so the possibility, however remote, that this grave could have been Ulv Galiciefarer’s dangles the tempting prospect of figuring out yarl-specific funerary traditions that could then illuminate future excavations.

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

Board Announces Committee Structure

East Kingdom Gazette - Sat, 2017-01-21 19:21

This week the Board of Directors of the SCA, Inc. released the following summary of it’s committee structure via the official announcements email list:


The following proposal is a summary of the Board Committee structure approved by  the SCA Board of Directors on October 22,2012.

  1. The Board approves the formation of the following committees to serve at the  pleasure of the Board, with the mission of each committee to be as set forth below that committee’s name:
  • Executive Committee

Mission:  Execute day-to-day oversight of Society business between Board meetings and such other responsibilities as may be designated by the Board from time to time in its discretion.

  • Finance and Audit

Membership to include 3 representatives of membership at large

Mission:  assist the Board’s oversight of the Company’s accounting and financial reporting processes, the audit and integrity of the Company’s financial statements and the qualifications and independence of the Company’s independent auditor

  • Risk Management

Membership to include 3 members at large

Mission:  Oversee insurance, legal, and related matters.

  • Nominating and Governance

Membership to include 3 members at large

Mission:  recommend to the Board the persons to be nominated for appointment as directors; recommend to the Board the directors to be appointed to each committee of the Board; develop and recommend to the Board Society governance guidelines and policies

  • Communications

Membership to include 3 to 7 members at large

Mission:  develop and oversee advertising; public relations; publications, social media and other communications initiatives of the Society

  • Membership

Membership to include 3 members at large

Mission:  grow and sustain membership in the Society; evaluate and oversee implementation of programs and initiatives for membership support

  1. The Board also approves formation of the following ad hoc committees to serve for a specified period of time or until their mission is completed in the discretion of the Board:
  • Youth Activities

Membership to include 2 members at large

Mission:  Completion of design and implementation of YAFA programs

  • Technology

Membership to include 4 members at large

Mission: Prepare 5-year technology development plan for Society

  • Peerage

Membership to include 4 members at large

Mission: Review proposals for the creation of new peerage

  1. From time to time the Board, at its discretion, may form other ad hoc committees for special projects. The Board has the authority to dissolve or modify any committee or its membership at any time.  Committees will make recommendations to the Board and give quarterly reports, but final decision making on all issues will remain with the Board.
  1. Committees will consist of Board members, Society officers, and members-at-large to be nominated in response to a Request for Nomination (RFN) sent by the Board to each Kingdom Seneschal, describing the mission of the committee and suggested minimum qualifications for committee members. Nominations may be made by the sitting Crown with the advice and consent of the Kingdom Seneschal.  RFNs for membership of the Finance, Communications and Peerage Committees will be promulgated by the Board on or before year-end, 2016.

It was followed a short time later by an addendum, also distributed via the Announcements e-list:

Requests for nomination for the Finance, Communications and Peerage Committees have been sent to all Kingdoms (Crown and Seneschal) asking for nomination of members from the populace.

Please contact your Kingdom Seneschal if you are interested.

Requests for nomination of members for the remaining committees will be sent at the end of Q1 2017.
Comments are strongly encouraged and can be sent to:
SCA Inc.
Box 360789
Milpitas,  CA 95036

You may also email comments@lists.sca.org.

This announcement is an official informational release by the Society for Creative Anachronism , Inc.  Permission is granted to reproduce this announcement in its entirety in newsletters, websites and electronic mailing lists.


Filed under: Corporate Tagged: board committees, BoD

Court Report – Kingdom Twelfth Night

AEthelmearc Gazette - Sat, 2017-01-21 02:07

Documented from the Scrolls of the Reign of Marcus & Margerite, King and Queen of Æthelmearc: the Business of Kingdom Twelfth Night, January 7, Anno Societatis LI, in the Shire of Angel’s Keep, accompanied by Their Heirs, Timothy and Gabrielle. As recorded by Maestro Orlando di Bene del Vinta, Jewel of Æthelmearc Herald, with assistance from Baron Fridrikr Tomasson.

In the afternoon, Their Majesties called forth all children and sent them off with treasures to entertain themselves during court.

His Excellency, Master Diego Miguel Munoz de Castilla was called before Their Majesties where it was announced that he would be assuming the mantle of authority for the office of Kingdom Rapier Marshal. Master Diego then gave his oath of service. Their Majesties offered thanks to Master Diego and to the service of the previous Kingdom Rapier Marshal, Master Benedict Fergus atte Mede.

Next, Master Antonio de Luna presented himself before Their Majesties and it was declared that he would be the next Kingdom Thrown Weapons Marshal. Master Antonio then gave his oath of service, and Their Majesties expressed gratitude for his willingness to serve, and also to the service of Master Augusto Giuseppe da San Donato, his predecessor.

Mistress Alicia Langland then gave her oath of service as Chancellor of the Æthelmearc Æcademy and announced the June Æcademy would be held in Angel’s Keep. She also announced that she is encouraging bids from Western NY to host the Fall Æcademy. She further announced that a stipend of $100 in honor of Countess Aidan ni Leir would be offered to one teacher.

The Event Steward, Mistress Othindisa Bykona, then addressed the populace and offered gratitude and made several announcements regarding the day’s events.

Their Majesties then called for Lord Badger Bagbane to present himself and pay the rent of the Æthelmearc Embassy in the Midrealm. Lord Badger then announced to the populace that he would be running daily AA Meetings in the morning at Pennsic and at the events he is attending, and all those gentles who are in recovery are welcome to attend.

Baroness Desiderata Drake next approached Their Majesties who offered
words of gratitude for her service as kingdom chatelaine, and it was
announced that THL Rois O’Faye (called Rosheen) would serve as the new
kingdom Chatelaine.  However, Their Majesties had additional words for
Baroness Desiderata. They told of her courtliness and enthusiasm, and the
service she rendered as baronial, regional, and kingdom chatelaine, and
thus They were moved to bestow upon her a Cornelian. Scroll by Lady Felice
de Thornton. 

Their Majesties next sought to be attended by Glenna of Delftwood, and spoke of her efforts and contributions in both the arts and in service, and so were minded to create her a Lady by awarding her arms. Scroll by Master Caleb Reynolds and Sarah Tuttle.

Their Majesties then called for Lord Leo Dietrich. Expressing Their gratitude for his many hours of service and support did induct him into the Order of the Keystone. Scroll forthcoming.

Next, Lord Quentin Lawless was called before the Throne. Their Majesties detailed his study of period rapier masters, and of Quentin’s efforts to both style his appearance as well as his fencing after this fashion, and so They saw it proper to recognize these efforts by inducting Lord Quentin into the Order of the Golden Stirrup. Scroll by Nataliia Anastasiia Evgenova.

Master Tigernach mac Cathail was then invited to approach. Their Majesties praised his skill with thrown weapon, but stated that They were not the only ones who had recognized his skills, and so They called for the Order of the White Horn, into which Their Majesties then created Master Tigernach a member. Scroll forthcoming by Baroness Ekaterina Volkova.

THL Ruslan Igotavich Voronov next appeared, and Their Majesties read from a missive. However, the words were in a difficult tongue for Ruslan to understand, and so Their compassionate and thoughtful Majesties sought to have those words translated and called for the Order of Chivalry to provide that translation. Upon the rendering of that translation, Their Majesties did present THL Ruslan with a writ of summons to contemplate elevation into the Order of Chivalry. Calligraphy by THL Sophie Davenport with text and translation by Baron Fridrikr Tomasson.

Next, Their Majesties called for Baron Steffan Wolfgang von Ravensburg. Her Majesty spoke of his kindness and his many years of quiet service. She spoke of his loyalty and generosity. But believing that there were others who might see these same qualities, Their Majesties did previously seek the advice from certain other members of Their Kingdom. And being thus affirmed in Their beliefs, and finding Steffan to be an inspiration for all, Their Majesties were then moved to call for the attendance of all the former Jewels of Æthelmearc, and in their presence did place around Steffan’s neck the Jewel so that all may recognize him as the gem he is, and named him Jewel of Æthelmearc. Scroll by Mistress Roberta McMorland with calligraphy by THL Sophie Davenport and words by Mistress Daedra McBeth a Gryphon.

Her Majesty then thanked all those artisans who contributed their efforts today so that the works of others might be recognized, and offered a token of esteem from Her hand.

Court suspended.

Later in the afternoon, at the conclusion of the competition for Sylvan Bard, Their Majesties called for Lady Magge Illfoster and named her Sylvan Bard. His Majesty spoke of how Magge’s song transported Him elsewhere in His mind, and so inspired was He that He agreed to perform at the next Sylvan Bard competition.

Court suspended.

In the evening, Their Majesties called for the youth, known as Celeste. Her Majesty spoke of how She was impressed and pleased by Celeste’s participation in the Sylvan Bard competition, and so named Celeste as Her Majesty’s Inspiration and awarded her a Golden Escarbuncle and presented a personal token.

The Event Steward, Mistress Othindisa Bykona, then addressed the populace and announced that $200 for the royal travel fund had been raised that day.

Next, Their Majesties called for Sebastian Moire, and spoke of his service to his group; of participation in event setup and teardown. Thus, Their Majesties saw it fit to raise him to the ranks of the nobility and did award him arms. Scroll by Baroness Helena Mutzhasen.

There being no further business, this court of Their Majesties was then closed.

Faithfully submitted,

Maestro Orlando di Bene del Vinta,
Jewel of Æthelmearc Herald

Categories: SCA news sites

Update on the Celtic Princess of the Danube

History Blog - Sat, 2017-01-21 00:54

In late 2010, archaeologists excavating a Celtic cemetery near the Iron Age settlement of Heuneburg unearthed an intact grave. The rest of the cemetery had been extensively looted, so when the team found a gold brooch inside a wooden burial chamber, they realized they had a very special find on their hand. The timbers were preserved in soil waterlogged by a small river that flowed nearby, which may also be the reason the grave was never pillaged. Its water-filled interior and boggy soil made it difficult for would-be thieves to access and loot. With a cemetery full of graves on drier land, looters picked the path of least resistance.

On December 28, 2010, the whole grave, encased in a 25-by-20 foot soil block weighing 80 tons, was raised and transported to the laboratory of the State Office for the Preservation of Monuments in Stuttgart. Archaeologists could now excavate the burial chamber in protected conditions, preserving the prehistoric timbers and any other organic remains, no matter how minute, and take all the time they needed for a thorough excavation. They discovered the contents of the tomb were extremely rich: more than 40 pieces of gold jewelry, more than 100 pieces of amber, plus jet, bronze and boar tusk jewelry and accessories, and an ornamental piece of armour for the head of a horse. This kind of armor was not produced in the Heuneburg area at this time. Part of it is consistent with work produced in northern Italy; some elements appear to be of southern Italian origin. It’s a testament to the variety and extent of the interregional trade in luxury goods during the Early Iron Age.

Most of the jewelry was adorned the skeletal remains of an adult woman. Her immense wealth and the wooden burial chamber, the only one of its kind every found, point to her being in the top echelon of Heuneburg society. The Celtic Princess of the Danube, as the press dubbed her, was between 30 and 40 years old when she died. The trunk of her skeleton was articulated and in place, while the skull was 10 feet away and the mandible in a corner of the chamber. Also in the grave were the remains of young girl around two or three years old. She too wore jewelry and because it is very similar to that found on the adult woman, so similar it was probably created by the same goldsmith, archaeologists believe they were related, likely mother and daughter. According to Dirk Krausse of the State Office for Cultural Heritage, Baden-Wuerttemberg, the matching jewels are “very special. We have no parallels to compare from the other graves. They’re only known up to now from these two graves.”

The style of the jewelry suggested a 7th century B.C. date for the grave. The preserved wooden timbers gave a more precise date: they were cut from a fir tree in 583 B.C. This was a prosperous time at Heuneburg. The Heuneburg hill fort dates to the Hallstatt period or Early Iron Age. The remains of wood and earthwork defensive fortifications from around 700 B.C. have been found, as have houses, burial mounds and expensive imported artifacts. A mud brick citadel wall on a massive limestone foundation 20 feet high was built around 600 B.C., a unique feature for Celtic settlements of this period. From 620 to 470 B.C., an estimated 10,000 people lived in Heuneburg which makes it by far the largest known prehistoric settlement north of the Alps as well as one of the oldest. More recent excavations at the foot of the hill have discovered a secondary housing site with homes grouped in walled compounds, an Iron Age suburban gated community, if you will. This is evidence in favor of classifying Heuneburg as not just a settlement, but an urban center. If so, it would make the hill fort the oldest urban site north of the Alps.

The remains of one other adult woman were found in the burial chamber. She had no jewelry, so researchers suspect she was a servant. At the moment it is not possible to determine whether and how the three individuals in the grave were related to each other.

Biological remains have been retrieved from the woman’s skeleton, but there are not enough remains from the child to do a DNA test, Krausse said. Only the enamel from the child’s teeth now remains.

At the moment, DNA sequencing technology is not advanced enough to work on the fragments of biological remains from the child’s grave. “But in 10 years, 20 years, maybe we will have the technology,” Krausse said.

The research into the Heuneburg grave and its contents is slated to continue until 2018. The latest findings will be published in the journal Antiquity.

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

Pennsic Announcement from Their Highnesses

East Kingdom Gazette - Fri, 2017-01-20 08:22

Photography by Cateline la Broderesse

Greetings to the populace of the Known World from the Royal Highnesses of the kingdoms of Aethelmearc, Ealdormere, East, Middle and Northshield.

We are making a public notice of our intentions for Pennsic War as follows: The mighty kingdoms of Aethelmearc and Northshield shall meet the mighty kingdoms of Ealdormere, East and Middle in a contest of truly epic proportions.

All other kingdoms, non-aligned households and mercenary companies are politely requested to fight with the Aethelmearc-Northshield Alliance in order to ensure the sides are fair and even for all of the battles.

Our number one goal for Pennsic is for everyone to have fun and bring back a little old school Pennsic magic to the many battle scenarios we have planned. We will also be focusing on archery, the arts and sciences, and service, which will all be included in war point battles.

As an added bonus the heavy weapons woods battle will return to the previous location off Zion Church Road.

If you have left the Pennsic family, we are hoping this is the war you choose to return. Rejoin the camaraderie, spirit and fun. We promise this Pennsic will be something special and one for the ages. Come back to Pennsic.

Filed under: Pennsic

Oetzi’s last meal was mountain goat Speck

History Blog - Fri, 2017-01-20 00:53

Oetzi the Iceman was discovered protruding from the ice of a glacier in the Oetzal Alps of the South Tyrol by hikers on September 19th, 1991, and in the years since has become the most studied mummy in the world. Kept in a climate controlled chamber with a viewing window for visitors at the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology in Bolzano, Italy, Oetzi is under constant monitoring by researchers who use the latest and greatest technology to discover new information about his life and death with as little interference with the remains and artifacts as possible.

The question of what he ate in the day or days before someone shot an arrow in his back severing his subclavian artery — he bled to death within minutes — was previously addressed by analysis of the fecal material found in his bowels. They contained the remains of red deer meat and some kind of cereal eaten at least four hours before his murder. In 2011, microbiologists at the Institute for Mummies and the Iceman in Bolzano reexamined CT scans from 2005 and discovered something previous researchers had missed: Oetzi’s stomach. It had shifted north, which is why it was missed the first time, and it appeared to be full.

A sample of the stomach contents contained animal fibers which DNA analysis identified as Alpine ibex meat. This was his last meal, ingested 30 to 120 minutes before he died. The meat of the Alpine ibex was traditionally believed to have medicinal properties, and since Oetzi suffered from chronic joint pain, Lyme disease, periodontal disease, ulcers and a panoply of non-fatal wounds including knife cuts and blunt force trauma to his teeth received in the days and hours before his death, he had more than enough reasons to seek out healing foods.

New research has been able to narrow down how the Ibex meat was prepared.

Mummy specialist Albert Zink from the European Academy of Bolzano said he was able to analyse the nanostructure of meat fibres from a mountain goat found in Ötzi’s stomach – indicating that the meat was raw and had been dry-cured, and not cooked or grilled, which would have weakened the fibres.

He added that Ötzi did not have a proper hunting bow with him, and probably carried the dried meat with him from his home, as raw meat would have quickly gone bad.

Further analysis of his stomach contents showed that he had not eaten cheese or dairy products, just meat. “It seems probable that his last meal was very fatty, dried meat – perhaps a type of Stone Age Speck or bacon,” Zink said. As Ötzi had hiked down from the South Tyrolean side of the Alps, it’s likely his provisions came from there.

Speck is a famous local delicacy in the Tyrol. Cured with salt and spices and cold-smoked, Tyrolean Speck goes back to the 13th century. Little did we know that it was being made from wild mountain goats in the area 4,000 years before it was made from the hind legs of pigs. I’m not sure how fatty ibex meat can possibly be, though. These animals are accustomed to scrambling up and down the Alps, after all, not chilling in a wallow.

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History